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  1. #1

    Question Please tell me anything about this Richelieu Pearl necklace? style, history, value

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    I inherited this from my grandmother and have no information other than the case and card that the necklace was in. Any information on style/type, history and estimate of value would be appreciated. thank you.

  2. #2
    Natural Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert KarinK's Avatar
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    Hi and welcome,

    I'm afraid I can't read the card and the necklace is too far away for me to see much. I also don't know the brand but then I don't much about vintage pearl jewelry. The very first thing for you to do, apart from taking phots close up on a white paper towel and perhaps write the text of the card, is to try to rub two pearls gently together. This will tell you if they are fake or real. If they feel smooth, they are fake. If they feel gritty they are cultured (real) pearls.

    - Karin

  3. #3
    Natural Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Sea Urchin's Avatar
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    Hope this helps:

    Richelieu Inc.
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Richelieu Inc. was a cultured pearl manufacturer in New York City which formed in January 1933. The business was incorporated through the merger of Heller-Deltah Company and Joseph H. Meyer Brothers. The former firm made Deltah, La Tausca, and Bluebird pearls. The latter produced Richelieu pearls. Richelieu Inc., had its offices at 8 West 30th Street in Manhattan (New York).[1] The original company was founded by Joseph H. Meyer & Brothers in Brooklyn, New York, in 1911.[2] Richelieu pearls were popular as an affordable alternative for consumers who were looking for inexpensive yet attractive jewels.

    Manufacturing process [edit]

    Richelieu pearls were made by Japanese who placed bits of mother of pearl in oysters. The oysters covered the bits of pearl with layers of nacre. The pearls grew to maturity within five to eight years. The pearls are perfect on one side, the lower side being coated with mother of pearl. Their cost was about one tenth the cost of genuine pearls. Richelieu pearls were made by coating an iridescent foundation with a substance obtained from a fish which lived in European rivers. Many coatings were necessary before the jewel was completed.[3]

  4. #4
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    I always thought Richelieu were imitation pearls....

  5. #5
    Pearlista Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert GemGeek's Avatar
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    You're right. They are coated with pulverized fish scale in lacquer. Confusing description, but very interesting.

  6. #6
    Pearl Scholar Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pattye's Avatar
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    Confused me!!
    Pattye


    PatriciaSaabDesigns.etsy.com

    facebook.com/PatriciaSaabDesigns

    SO MANY PEARLS, SO LITTLE TIME----

  7. #7
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    kayork,

    Jackie Kennedy's pearls and Barbara Bush's pearls were imitations made for them (by Kenneth Jay Lane.) There is a place for imitation pearls as fashion accessories, and these are special because they belonged to your grandmother.

    As far as market value, what we generally suggest is doing a search on eBay of similar sold items (items are only worth what people have demonstrated a willingness to pay for them.) Here, for example, are the results from a search for "Richelieu pearl necklace", sold items-- from highest price to lowest:
    http://www.ebay.com/csc/i.html?_sop=...H_Sold=1&rt=nc

    The prices realized are quite low for this brand. I say, just enjoy them.

    Here is an interesting ad for Richelieu pearls being sold on eBay, with a box and necklace similar to yours: http://www.ebay.com/itm/1946-RICHELI...item58a07d46da

    And still more ads-- I do like these vintage magazine ads: http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_odkw...rl+ad&_sacat=0

    Hmmm, one of those ads calls them cultured pearls: http://www.ebay.com/itm/1949-Richeli...item232afb3ab2
    I wonder if they sold any real cultured pearls?

    This ad shows different strands ranging from $2 to $35-- surely even then, one could not get real cultured pearls for $35?
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/1950-Richeli...item439f5729b5

    Furthermore, this ad (enlarged) contrasts Richelieu "cultured" pearls vs. "genuine" pearls-- sound like they were overly liberal with the use of the world "cultured":
    http://c590298.r98.cf2.rackcdn.com/ESQ1_375.JPG.

    I think you ought to try the test for nacre-- rub 2 of the pearls gently against each other. If smooth, they are imitation. Real pearls would be a bit gritty if rubbed together.
    Last edited by Pearl Dreams; 05-31-2013 at 03:57 AM.

  8. #8
    Pearlista Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert GemGeek's Avatar
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    I have lots of artificial pearls and I enjoy wearing them. I see them as fashion jewelry. But I wouldn't part with my real pearls, and I suspect you couldn't pry them out of many of our member's hands without a fight!

  9. #9

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    thank you everyone. you have been most helpful. I believe I will hand these down to my daughter.

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